This has actually happened to me as a player, and a player I've DM'ed in a oneshot. In short, when we delve into a dungeon, whenever a DM describes an object in a weird way, we become very cautious to approach the said object. This is very true with objects that usually can be an animated object.
- "You see a dusty set of armor on the corner of the room." Animated armor
- "You see an iron chest on the side of the pedestal." Mimic
- "You see a pair of statues of winged beasts on each side of the stairs." Gargoyle
- less common, but "You see this corridor is decorated with at least 6-8 paintings of various theme." (was in Curse of Strahd)
The most common response will be "I shoot the [object] with my crossbow/fire bolt", or "I cast detect magic". Less common will be going into melee and smashing it. While this usually results in laughter when the objects are actually not a monster, this usually slows down the exploration.
- Only describing important objects.
- Describing that they found nothing special about these objects.
First solution usually exacerbates the problem by limiting my ability to describe how the room looks like, and simultaneously highlighting important objects. For example, you automatically try to search the wall for a hidden switch for a secret room or passage because I told you "there is part of the wall that is less dusty", or automatically start buffing and attacking the pair of gargoyle statues because now I describe them, and they must be important.
Second solution is related to first solution, because I can't say the found nothing special with these objects, if they are indeed holding important clues, and of course I don't want to give it away or hiding that they are important.
The problem is this kind of approach slows down the game, and restrict how I as a DM describe environment - can only describe important things, but I want to immerse them too with relevant details. This also gives them essentially free turn before the combat.
As a DM, how can I deal with their constant suspicions with random objects?